Ok, say you’re a big technology company and you have a hot new product. You put out a press release enumerating the many amazing features and announcing a release date several weeks hence. Even better, one of the most-read tech columnists on the planet, the New York Times‘ David Pogue, raves about your new product in print, on the web and on television. You are really psyched now. Then it turns out that even though a competitor will be offering the same product for the same basic price, you’ve got a two-week jump on availability.
So when your release day finally hits, what’s your strategy at the hundreds of retail outlets you own all over the county?
Did anybody answer act like any other day and don’t even stock the hot new product? Because that was the answer from Verizon Wireless when I went in to order their new mobile wifi hotspot, the Mifi 2200. “Sorry, we don’t have them in stock today – they’ve got plenty at our warehouse and we can order it for you and send it to your house,” a helpful Verizon clerk tells me. They’ve got plenty in stock but none at any of the stores in the Boston area, he tells me.
That’s fine – it’s fine – but really, is that the best customer service? Is that any way to delight your customers? Just imagine the interest and word of mouth that might be drummed up if they had the Mifi’s in stock and activated them at the store in front of all of the customers on a busy Sunday afternoon. Opportunity lost. When it comes to selling and promoting new tech products, it’s still Apple at the top and everyone else trailing far behind.
p.s. when I actually get my mitts on the new Mifi, which is replacing a Sprint mobile broadband USB stick (the Novatel U720), I’ll post Here’s my full review of the Mifi 2200. Surprise – it’s a rave.